Beginners’ Guide to HIIT Workouts: AMRAP vs EMOM vs Tabata

Beginners’ Guide to HIIT Workouts: AMRAP vs EMOM vs Tabata

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably interested in adding high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions to your workout routine.

A great way to get started would be to tap on the library of beginner HIIT workouts available online and on video platforms like YouTube – especially since there are plenty of high-quality, free resources.

However, beginners often need to grapple with understanding the different types of HIIT workouts available, as well as demystify acronyms in the workouts like AMRAP and EMOM.

This article is here to help do just that – and have you confidently tackling most workouts you come across in your journey to being a fitter, healthier, and happier you.

Check out the Kydra blog for informative articles that tackle fitness, nutrition and living a healthier, happier life.

Get Outsized Results from Short Training Sessions 

HIIT is widely recognised in the fitness community as being an effective exercise methodology for building up strength, cardiovascular capacity – while only requiring relatively short workout sessions of around 30 minutes or less.

Today, HIIT can be found being practised as the primary workout programme in some specialised gyms, or as a complement to strength training, a running regime, or as conditioning for athletes.

With their popularity comes diversity, with different ways in which high-intensity exercises get paired with rest intervals, such as AMRAP, EMOM and Tabata.

We’ll go through three popular HIIT variations for beginners so you can appreciate the mechanics and follow HIIT workouts in gyms, training plans, or online videos.

1. AMRAP

As Many Repetitions As Possible

What is it: Do the exercise as many times as you can within the stipulated time.

What it does: AMRAP is a practical way for group exercises to be conducted. Those who are able to would do more repetitions, while those who reached their limit would take longer by resting in between repetitions to recover.

AMRAP As Many Reps As Possible

Things to note: AMRAP requires you to be disciplined to push yourself and not take too many breaks. Embrace your sweat patches and be comfortable with being in the moderate to hard heart rate intensity – it really helps!

Track your reps, so you can use your previous performance as a benchmark to exceed and to see your progression over time.

2. EMOM

Every Minute On The Minute

What is it: You have a minute to complete the requisite reps of the exercise, before the next exercise. If you complete the reps before the minute is up, you can take the time to rest.

What it does: EMOM is designed to be motivating, since you must spur yourself to complete the reps as soon as possible if you want to earn some time to rest.

Things to note: Those who find themselves struggling might find themselves in a vicious cycle of not completing the set early, thus not having rest, and then not being able to complete the next set early. Keeping focused and maintaining momentum is key. Picture yourself pushing yourself like your life depended on it – because in a way, it does.

This workout asks that you bring your ‘A’ game each time, which pretty much is a pretty great analogy to life as well.

3. Tabata

4-Minute Rounds, Comprising Cycles of 20 Seconds Work, 10 Seconds Rest

What it is: Essentially, you perform a specific exercise at full intensity for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of recovery. And then move on to another exercise. One Tabata round usually consists of 8 exercises, making up 4-minutes. A workout session is commonly made up of 3 to 5 rounds.

What it does: You push yourself to the maximum (because it is just 20 seconds), without needing to pace yourself, which longer durations might necessitate. Respite is always a couple of seconds away, but so is another dose of high-intensity work.

Things to note: With no set number of reps to aim for, it might be tempting to slack off, or think you’re working harder than you really are. Don’t.

Regard every round as your first, and let yourself go as hard every round, as if it was your last. Keep nothing in your fuel tanks. You can also use your heart rate or number of reps as a gauge to make sure.

Try The Kydra HIIT Challenge!

Now that we’ve explained all three types of HIIT workouts, let’s see how well you understand them by trying out the Kydra HIIT Challenge! Give it a go and tag us on Instagram and use the hashtag #KydraHIITChallenge.

Edwin @edwination_ in Grit Tank Black, Nitro Shorts BlackEdwin @edwination_ in Grit Tank Black, Nitro Shorts Black

Same Same, But Different

All the different types of HIIT exercises have the same purpose of alternating between periods of high-intensity work and short periods of rest – they just achieve this in subtly different ways.

Equipped with an understanding and appreciation, you can now go forth and tackle HIIT workouts with confidence and enthusiasm. Be sure to remain hydrated, adequately fuelled, and dressed in proper workout attire to perform at your best.

Have fun and keep moving – with intensity!

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